Monday, 30 January 2012

Prophecies of the Martyr-Pope



The Crucifixion of St Peter, by Caravaggio




One of the most universal themes of modern private revelations is that of the suffering of the martyr-pope - a pontiff who leads the Catholic Church at a time of great trial, before being cruelly put to death by a group of assailants. An early prophetic tradition of the assassination of a pope at the end-time can be traced back to the Joachite movement of the early 13th century, in a text known as the Commentary on Jeremiah, found in the In Hieremiam:

 
The future migration will indeed be worse than the former one because it will be arrogant, although not harder. Therefore Peter will be crucified, the pope will be killed, and according to the doctors, the conventual sheep and their subjects will be scattered at the death of the pastor...
The Christian people and even the pope will either actually be killed or will be afflicted in spirit.
(Translated by Bernard McGinn, Visions of the End, pp189-190)


The most famous prophecy of a martyr-pope is of course that found in the Third Secret:


...we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.


Sr. Lucia gave some additional material on the suffering of the martyr-pope in the Third Secret, which was seen in a vision by Blessed Jacinta. Lucia describes Jacinta's vision in her Third Memoir:


After a little while, Jacinta called out to me: “Didn’t you see the Holy Father?” “No.” “I don’t know how it happened, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him.”


...one day, two priests recommended us to pray for the Holy Father, and explained to us who the Pope was. Afterwards, Jacinta asked me: “Is he the one I saw weeping, the one Our Lady told us about in the Secret?” “Yes, he is.” “The Lady must surely have shown him also to those priests. You see, I wasn’t mistaken. We need to pray a lot for him."Another time, we went to the cave called Lapa do Cabeço. As soon as we got there, we prostrated on the ground, saying the prayers the Angel had taught us.
After some time, Jacinta stood up and called to me: “Can’t you see all those highways and roads and fields full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?”
Some days later, she asked me: “Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?” "No. Don’t you see that that’s part of the Secret? If you do, they’ll find out right away.” “All right! Then I’ll say nothing at all."
(Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, Third Memoir, pp122-113)
 


Our Lady of La Salette also foretold a fate of suffering for a future pope in the original version of the secrets which were first written down in 1851:
Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects.
(Our Lady to Maximin Giraud - see the earlier post Our Lady of La Salette for more details).


St. John Bosco goes into this subject in some more depth:

 
“Meanwhile, the guns of the assailants are blown up, the rifles and other arms and prows are broken; many ships are shattered and sink into the sea. Then, the frenzied enemies strive to fight hand to hand, with fists, with blows, with blasphemy and with curses.
“Suddenly the Pope falls gravely wounded. Immediately, those who are with him run to help him and they lift him up. A second time the Pope is struck, he falls again and dies. A shout of victory and joy rings out amongst the enemies; from their ships an unspeakable mockery arises.
“But hardly is the Pontiff dead than another takes his place. The pilots, having met together, have elected the Pope so promptly that the news of the death of the Pope coincides with the news of the election of the successor. The adversaries begin to lose courage.
(See the earlier post St. John Bosco's Dream of the Two Pillars for a discussion on how the pillars of the dream may represent the Two Witnesses of Rev 11)

 
There are some other prophecies which foretell this event which for now cannot be traced back to a single reliable source - but they do accord with the scenarios depicted above. Two of these prophecies are attributed to the popes Pius IX and St. Pius X, but rather frustratingly no reference is made the original source of publication of these predictions. The other is said to have been made by the elusive St. John of the Cleft Rock in the 14th century, who I have tried in vain to identify. I contacted Prof. Bernard McGinn (the world's foremost scholarly authority on medieval prophecies) in an attempt to identify this figure, but even he was at a loss to explain where the prophecy originated. Each of these prophecies were cited in Yves Dupont's book Catholic Prophecy, but there is no mention of the original source. To my knowledge, the only prominent prophetic figure named John around this time period was John de Roquetaillade (aka Jean de Rupescissa)- who was known for making many false prophecies. John of Parma (1209-1257) is another possible candidate, but it is more likely that it is a pseudonymous work originating in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

Pope Pius IX (1846-78): “There will come a great wonder, which will fill the world with astonishment. This wonder will be preceded by the triumph of revolution. The church will suffer exceedingly. Her servants and her chieftain will be mocked, scourged, and martyred.”
 
Pope St. Pius X (1903-14): “Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests!”(Before his death) “I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even Gods memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world.”

St. John of the Cleft Rock: Towards the end of the world, tyrants and hostile mobs will rob the Church and the clergy of all their possessions and will afflict and martyr them. Those who heap the most abuse upon them will be held in high esteem.
At that time, the Pope with his cardinals will have to flee Rome in tragic circumstances to a place where they will be unknown. The Pope will die a cruel death in his exile. The sufferings of the Church will be much greater than at any previous time in her history. But God will raise a holy Pope, and the Angels will rejoice. Enlightened by God, this man will rebuild almost the whole world through his holiness. He will lead everyone to the true Faith.


In my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, I argue that the prophecy of the martyr-pope is connected to the prophecy of the Two Witnesses of Rev 11, which in turn is also inextricably related to the tradition of the Angelic Pope and Great Monarch in medieval prophecy, who are foretold to restore the Church at the end-time, during the Second Pentecost.
The nature of the relationship between the martyr-pope and the Angelic Pope, and their connection to the Two Witnesses is more complex. The election of the Angelic Pope who inaugurates the Second Pentecost usually directly follows the death of the martyr-pope. So it is unclear whether it is the Angelic Pope or the martyr-pope who is one of the Two Witnesses - who both meet a fate of martyrdom in the Book of Revelation. Some prophecies seem to suggest that the Second Pentecost which occurs during the reign of the Angelic Pope is related to the death of the martyr-pope. If this is the case, then it would be directly linked to the fulfilment of the prophecies of Fatima, making the martyrdom of the pope a causation of the conversion of Russia/Second Pentecost. It would seem logical that devotion to Our Lady of Fatima would be greatly increased when the prophecies actually unfold. So the Second Pentecost could theoretically be inspired as much by the death of the martyr-pope as events which transpire during the pontificate of the Angelic Pope.
In the earlier post The Two Witnesses, I show how the two angels described in the Third Secret, who collect the blood of the martyrs and sprinkle the souls making their way toward God, is a deliberate allusion to the two cherubim on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, where the blood of the sacrificial victim was sprinkled in accordance with Lev 16:14-16. In the book, I suggest that the two cherubim of the Ark of the Covenant symbolises the Two Witnesses themselves - who are martyred in the place their Lord was crucified (which parallels the steep mountain with a large Cross at the top in the Third Secret, which the pope ascends in imitation of Christ's Via Dolorosa on Calvary):
 
And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.
(Rev 11:7-8)
 
 
This connection is further reinforced by how the Third Secret closes with a reference to the two cherubim of the Mercy Seat gathering the blood of the martyrs, while the cycle concerning the Two Witnesses in Rev 11 closes with a vision of the Ark of the Covenant:
 
Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail...
(Rev 11:19)

I have recently came across a medieval prophecy made by Blessed John of Parma which also appears to make a connection between the cherubim of the Ark of the Covenant and the Two Witnesses of Rev 11. In The Joint Encyclical of 1255, John of Parma compares the two orders of the Franciscans and the Dominicans with other symbolic pairings in the Bible:


These orders are - so to speak to God's glory and not our own - two great luminaries which by celestial light shine upon and minister to those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death. These are the two trumpets of the true Moses, of Christ our God, by whose ministry a multitude of peoples has already been called to the source (Num. 10:2). These are the two Cherubim full of knowledge, gazing at each other while they behold the same object, spreading out their wings to the people while they protect them by word and example, and flying about on obedient wing over the whole people to spread saving knowledge (Exod. 25:18). These are the two breasts of the spouse from which Christ's little ones suck the milk by which they are nourished and receive saving increase (Song of Sol. 4:5). These are the two olives of the Son of Splendor that stand near the ruler of the universe ready for his command wherever his will might lead them to fulfill his mission (Zech. 4:14). These are the two witnesses of Christ who, clad in sackcloth, are already preaching and bearing testimony to the truth (Rev. 11:13). These are the two shining stars that according to the Sibylline prophecy have the appearance of the four animals and in the last days will cry out in the name of the Lord in the way of humility and voluntary poverty...
(Translated by Bernard McGinn, Visions of the End, pp164-165)


So it seems that the two angels of the Third Secret is a device intended to parallel the events of Rev 11, thus connecting the martyr-pope with the Two Witnesses - the two olive trees who stand before the Lord of all the earth, and the two pillars of St. John Bosco. And in the earlier post St. Malachy's Glory of the Olives, I note how the phrase attributed to Benedict XVI - Gloria Olivae, may be an intentional reference to the two olive trees of Rev 11 and Zech 4, thus potentially connecting the reign of the present pope with the Two Witnesses of the Book of Revelation. With the abdication of the Holy Father on 28th Feb, 2013, it seems that if the motto "Glory of the Olive" is indeed related to the Two Witnesses, then we could perhaps interpret it as meaning that Pope Benedict is the one who opens the door to reveal the "glory of the olive". This would then tie in with the door being opened in the Temple in Heaven to reveal the Ark of the Covenant, and the two cherubim on the Mercy Seat which represent the Two Witnesses. And as we now know, there was indeed "flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail" when Pope Benedict XVI opened the doors of St. Peter's Basilica to make way for the next pope. Just hours after the Holy Father announced his abdication, lightning struck St. Peter's Basilica twice. This was followed just days later by the Chelyabinsk meteorite strike, on the 15th Feb, 2013, which sounds incredibly similar to the "heavy hail" described in the Book of Exodus:


There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
(Exod 9:24)


Then a day later, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake which struck just south of Rome, on 16th Feb, 2013.
 
In The Fourth Secret of Fatima, Antonio Socci noted the words of Pope Benedict XVI at his inaugural address in 2005:
 
"Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves."
(See the full text here).
 
In retrospect, we can now see that these words closely echoed the prophecies of Bl. Elizabeth Canori-Mora. During a vision, Bl. Elizabeth saw the pope:

"surrounded by wolves who plotted to betray him… I saw the Sanhedrin of wolves which surrounded the Pope, and two angels weeping… when I asked them why they were sad and lamenting, looking upon Rome with eyes full of compassion they responded, ‘Wretched city, ungrateful people, the justice of God will chastise you.’”


Bl. Elizabeth continued to receive private revelations concerning the plight of the pope, and on 16th Jan 1815, she stated that angels showed her:


“many ecclesiastics who persecute Jesus Crucified and His holy Gospel under the guise of doing good… Like furious wolves they scheme to pull the Church leader down from his throne.” Then she was allowed to see the terrible indignation these wolves aroused in God. “In terror I saw the blazing lightening bolts of Divine Justice fall about me. I saw buildings collapsing in ruins. Cities, regions and the whole world fell into chaos. One heard nothing but countless weak voices calling out for mercy. Countless people will be killed. [I saw that God was] extremely angry with those who persecute Him. His omnipotent hands were holding bolts of lightening, His face was resplendent with indignation and His gaze alone was enough to incinerate the whole world.”


It now seems that the Chelyabinsk meteorite strike was annoucing the form of chastisement that would take place for the persecution of the Holy Father, which was seen by Bl. Elizabeth:


And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.
(Rev 11:5)


When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
(Rev 8:1-7)


We also need to consider the fact that Pope Benedict himself also somewhat controversially reversed Cardinal Sodano's conclusions in the Message of Fatima document published in June 2000 - that the prophecy of the pope of the Third Secret was completely fulfilled in the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. On May 11th, 2010, while on his journey to Fatima for the anniversary of the apparitions, Pope Benedict made clear that he thought that the prophecies of the Third Secret were yet to be fulfilled:


...beyond this great vision of the suffering of the Pope, which we can in the first place refer to Pope John Paul II, an indication is given of realities involving the future of the Church, which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident. So it is true that, in addition to moment indicated in the vision, there is mention of, there is seen, the need for a passion of the Church, which naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope, yet the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is sufferings of the Church that are announced. The Lord told us that the Church would constantly be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world. (See here for the full text).

The Pope continued his reflections on the future significance of the prophecies of Fatima in his speech on the anniversary of the apparitions:
 
We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

 
At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. (See here for the full text).
















4 comments:

Roland Stadler said...

La Salette: Rome will loose Faith and will be the seat of the Anti-Christ.
Fatima : There will be a False and Terrible Council in which the Faith will be inverted.

Early Church Father's told us this will be happen after 1950. If we reflecte the last sixty years it all happened. Although there is no Pope Benedict, There is a False Prophet called Benedict and a precessor he was the Anti-Christ.
Open your eyes and you can see that the Predictions are fulfilled.

Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve said...

Thanks, Emmett, for this informative post tying things together. I must admit though that it is difficult to grasp what is really going on with these various prophecies.

How do you think Pope Francis fits into this picture? Do you think he might be the martyr pope? Thank you

Emmett O'Regan said...

You're right Sr. Lorraine, it is quite difficult to understand exactly how all these prophecies are related to each other.
Given how some of the Angelic Pope prophecies point to this particular pontificate, I think Pope Francis very well could be the martyr pope. There is a considerable amount of overlap between the prophecies of the Angelic Pope and the martyr pope.
The most authentic prophecies always place the reign of the Antichrist immediately after the coming of the Pastor Angelicus to restore the Church. This fits in with the prophecy of the Two Witnesses, when the Antichrist puts the witnesses to death once they have finished their testimony (i.e. once they have accomplished the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth).
Following this scenario however, we wouldn't expect the martyrdom of the pope of the Third Secret to take place until after the Second Pentecost/era of peace is over, during the rise to power of the Antichrist. This would explain why the final Passover of the Church described in the Third Secret takes place immediately after the martyrdom of the pope, as it is a vision of the final persecution of the Church under the Antichrist. So following this order of chronology, if Pope Francis is the pope of the Third Secret, then the restoration of the Church would have to be accomplished first, before any martyrdom would take place. The reign of the Antichrist would then immediately follow, who in turn will be thwarted by the Paraousia of Christ.

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates."
(Matt 24:32-33)

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
(2Thes 2:8)

Other prophecies, such as
St. John Bosco's dream of the two pillars, appear to place the Second Pentecost as occurring after the martyrdom of a pope however, which is rather confusing.

It seems that there are two options:

1) The Angelic Pope and Great Monarch/Two Witnesses restore the Church during the Second Pentecost, following which they are martyred by the Antichrist during the final Passover of the Church.

2)A pope is martyred, the Second Pentecost takes place, then the reign of the Antichrist begins immediately afterwards, during which the Two Witnesses are martyred. So there is in effect two martyrdoms here, one before and one after the era of peace.

I believe the first option is the most accurate, and accords better with the chronology of the Third Secret. So if Pope Francis is indeed the Pope of the Third Secret, the restoration of the Church must happen first before any martyrdom would take place. As such, I don't think there is too much to fear from the Holy Father's upcoming pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Hopefully some form of initiative towards Church unity will be established instead.

Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve said...

Thank you, Emmett, for this explanation.
I too think that Francis may be the martyr Pope.
And even though things still seem bad for the Church in many ways (loss of faith, etc.), perhaps we are already seeing the age of restoration. For example, as bad as the clergy scandal has been, rooting it out is a positive step toward restoration. And the post-Vatican II dissidents, etc., seem to be fading from the scene now. If the illumination does happen, that might serve to restore faith too.